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Thursday, May 21, 2015

RCN Potential Future Frigate Fires First Test Missiles

The Royal Canadian Navy is considering a number of options for its multi-billion dollar rebuild of its fleet. The front runner in the design process is the DCNS FREMM (French: Frigate Europeenne multi-mission) Frigate. DCNS is hoping Canada will choose the FREMM for its Canadian Surface Combatant Fleet.

The French frigate Aquitaine (the first frigate of the multinational multi-billion dollar program) fired its first missiles; a European built Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missile, as well as a naval cruise missile.

Artists rendering of a FREMM Frigate - from naval-technology.com
The testing took place on May 12 and May 19th respectively, and mark the first time a European surface ship has fired a European naval cruise missile.

The FREMM will be the future backbone of the French and Italian Navy's (Morocco is also an operator of the FREMM). The FREMMs are heavily armed warships, capable of carrying naval cruise missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-shop missiles, as well as MU90 anti-submarine torpedoes. All the FREMMs can accommodate a Caiman marine helicopter, as well as Special Forces units aqnd their equipment. France is expected to be operating 6 FREMMs by mid 2019. Italy's time table runs into the early 2020s. The FREMMs naval cruise missile provides a deep strike capability, with a range of several hundred kilometres.  Morocco currently operates a single FREMM, and Egypt plans to operate two of the frigates to help in policing the Suez Canal.

France brought the Aquitaine to Halifax in 2013 to showcase it to the Canadian Government in hopes of selling the design plans. France has even said it would allow Irving to build the ships in Canada.
The FREMMs certainly seem to fit the need of the future Canadian Surface Combatant fleet.